Category: Sanctification

Am I Carnally Minded?

Oswald Chambersby Oswald Chambers

Where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal…? —1 Corinthians 3:3

The natural man, or unbeliever, knows nothing about carnality. The desires of the flesh warring against the Spirit, and the Spirit warring against the flesh, which began at rebirth, are what produce carnality and the awareness of it. But Paul said, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). In other words, carnality will disappear.

Are you quarrelsome and easily upset over small things? Do you think that no one who is a Christian is ever like that? Paul said they are, and he connected these attitudes with carnality. Is there a truth in the Bible that instantly awakens a spirit of malice or resentment in you? If so, that is proof that you are still carnal. If the process of sanctification is continuing in your life, there will be no trace of that kind of spirit remaining.

If the Spirit of God detects anything in you that is wrong, He doesn’t ask you to make it right; He only asks you to accept the light of truth, and then He will make it right. A child of the light will confess sin instantly and stand completely open before God. But a child of the darkness will say, “Oh, I can explain that.” When the light shines and the Spirit brings conviction of sin, be a child of the light. Confess your wrongdoing, and God will deal with it. If, however, you try to vindicate yourself, you prove yourself to be a child of the darkness.

What is the proof that carnality has gone? Never deceive yourself; when carnality is gone you will know it— it is the most real thing you can imagine. And God will see to it that you have a number of opportunities to prove to yourself the miracle of His grace. The proof is in a very practical test. You will find yourself saying, “If this had happened before, I would have had the spirit of resentment!” And you will never cease to be the most amazed person on earth at what God has done for you on the inside.

by Oswald Chambers

 

Pressing On

A.W. Tozerby A.W. Tozer

. . . let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus . . . Hebrews 12:1b-2a

The rapidity with which improvement is made in the life will depend altogether upon the degree of self-criticism we bring to our prayers and to the school of daily living. Let a man fall under the delusion that he has arrived, and all progress is stopped until he has seen his error and forsaken it. Paul said, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:12).

Some Christians hope in a vague kind of way that time will help them to grow better. They look to the passing of the years to mellow them and make them more Christlike. This is such a tender and pathetic thought that one hesitates to expose its essential error. But we had better know the facts now while we can do something about them rather than go on moist-eyed and dreamily hopeful — and wholly wrong. A crooked tree does not straighten with age; neither does a crooked Christian.

All this is to say that a growing Christian must have at his roots the life-giving waters of penitence. The cultivation of a penitential spirit is absolutely essential to spiritual progress. The lives of great saints teach us that self-distrust is vital to godliness. Even while the obedient soul lies prostrate before God, or goes on in reverent obedience convinced that he is carrying out the will of God with a perfect conscience, he will yet feel a sense of utter brokenness and a deep consciousness that he is still far from being what he ought to be. This is one of the many paradoxical situations in which the humble man will find himself as he follows on to know the Lord.

by A.W. Tozer